Charter School Honored for Arts Education

Charter School Honored for Arts Education
Posted on 07/11/2021
California Exemplary Arts Education Awards logo

Contra Costa County School of Performing Arts was one of 33 schools in California recognized and selected for the California Exemplary Arts Education AwardState Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond recently announcedSchools selected for the Exemplary Arts Education Award (EAE) demonstrate broad-based achievement in Arts instruction and for advancing the Arts for all students. 


Contra Costa School of Performing Arts (SPA) is a charter school authorized by the Contra Costa County Office of Education that serves about 500 students in grades 6 – 12.  

In its fifth year of operation, the school’s mission is to provide distinguished, pre-professional experience in performing arts within a college and career preparatory setting. 


“Congratulations to the Contra Costa County School of Performing Arts’ staff, administration and students,” Contra Costa County Superintendent Lynn Mackey said. “Their commitment and hard work to foster a culture of excellence and student achievement using the Arts as a vehicle, while tackling the challenges of distance learning over the last year, is to be applauded and emulated.” 


SPA offers pre-conservatory style training in Fine Arts Majors: Dance, Instrumental Music, Production and Design, Theatre and Vocal Music. Arts classes are led by highly skilled and passionate teaching artists and are deeply rooted in the idea that all students can thrive and succeed with proper training and opportunity. 


The EAE Award is part of the California Distinguished Schools Program and recognizes elementary and middle and high schools in alternate years. Schools that earned the award hold the title for two years. 


To be eligible, schools must offer sequenced instruction to all students in a minimum of three of the five arts disciplines identified in the Arts Standards: Dance, Media Arts, Music, Theatre, and Visual Arts. They must also show one level of improvement for at least one student subgroup in one of the following three areas based on the California School Dashboard, an accountability and continuous improvement system that provides information about how local educational agencies and schools are meeting the needs of California’s diverse student population. 


“This year has been especially challenging for our students and schools, but I commend these schools for recognizing that this is a time when the arts are more critical than ever,” State Superintendent Thurmond said. “These schools excelled in providing quality arts education, despite all the obstacles presented by distance learning. It is with great pleasure we honor these schools for their steadfast dedication to arts education that plays a powerful role in supporting wellness, bridging social divides, and expanding creativity and critical thinking in our students.” 


These California Exemplary Arts Education Schools, along with California Distinguished Schools, National Blue Ribbon Schools, and recipients of California Department of Education (CDE) recognition programs, will be honored virtually later this year.  

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